Lateralization of amygdala activation in fMRI may depend on phase-encoding polarity

  • Krystyna A. Mathiak
  • Mikhail Zvyagintsev
  • Hermann Ackermann
  • Klaus Mathiak
Short Communication



Susceptibility artifacts along the phase-encoding (PE) direction impact the activation pattern in the amygdala and may lead to systematic asymmetries. We implemented a triple-echo echo-planar imaging (EPI) sequence, acquiring opposite PE polarities along left–right PE direction in a single shot, to investigate its effects on amygdala lateralization.

Materials and Methods

Twelve subjects viewed emotional faces to evoke amygdala activation.

Results and Conclusion

A region of interest analysis revealed that the lateralization of amygdala responses depended on the PE polarity thus representing a pure method artifact. Alternating PE with multi-echo EPI reduced the artifact. Lateralized fMRI activation in areas with magnetic field inhomogeneities need to be interpreted with caution.


Amygdala Lateralization Distortion correction Multi-echo fMRI 



Blood-oxygenation level dependent


Echo-planar imaging


Flip angle


Functional magnetic resonance imaging


Family-wise error


Modified driven equilibrium Fourier transform


Montreal Neurological Institute




Region of interest


Statistical parametric mapping


Echo time


Repetition time


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Copyright information

© ESMRMB 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Krystyna A. Mathiak
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Mikhail Zvyagintsev
    • 4
    • 5
  • Hermann Ackermann
    • 2
  • Klaus Mathiak
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and PsychotherapyRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  2. 2.Center for Neurology, Hertie InstituteUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany
  3. 3.Graduate School of Neural and Behavioural Sciences, International Max Planck Research SchoolUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany
  4. 4.Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and PsychosomaticsRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  5. 5.JARA-Translational Brain ResearchJülichGermany
  6. 6.INM-1Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbHJülichGermany

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